Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You’re reading Entrepreneur United States, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Although it’s one of the newest social media outlets, TikTok is now one of the most popular. This year alone, it has already surpassed Twitter in the number of active users and has completely changed the way we create and consume video content.
Creating videos on TikTok is easy. But more complex videos with better production and editing are going viral faster.
Because of its sudden growth in popularity, businesses and entrepreneurs are utilizing the platform.
Why you should care about TikTok
TikTok has become a massive trend. Combined downloads on Apple App Store and Google Play have passed 2 billion. And there are over 500 million active users on the app every month.
Content on the platform consists of short 15 – 60 second user-recorded videos. TikTok even provides tools to edit videos directly in-app. The app provides users with multiple filters and special effects in addition to a massive library of music for video enhancement. And it integrates with other social media to make sharing and marketing easier.
But there is a much bigger advantage for influencers and businesses: TikTok’s algorithm uses AI to recommend videos based on previously viewed videos. This makes it easier for users to discover new content and creators to go viral.
Is my audience there?
The biggest concern with any social media effort is whether or not your ideal customer is there. And though TikTok’s demographic originally consisted of ages 16 – 24, that is changing every day. So don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just for Gen Z because 2020 changed everything.
After the global lockdown, the app’s demographics have changed considerably. One report disclosed that females between 30 – 39 years old accounted for 13.8% of the user base on Android. As for gender usage, it varies worldwide. But in the U.S., women account for 61% of TikTok users. Another report states that the app raked in over $128 million in user spending.
Related: 5 Tips to Help Curious Marketers Get Started On TikTok
How to use TikTok for business
It’s easy to jump on the app and start creating. But to produce results takes a few additional steps and some planning. TikTok is unlike any other social media platform out there. Using it comes with a bit of a learning curve.
So, before you start creating random content, take some time to look around. First, look at what other creators are doing. Look at influencers, other businesses and your competition.
Start by finding the patterns. What are they all doing? What sort of likes and engagement is that getting? What strategy and filters are they using? What hashtags are they using?
You’ll want to get an idea of what content is getting the most attention. Then create a personal account to experiment. Then take the time to figure out how the feeds work.
Now you’re ready to start modeling after influencers.
Try different types of content
Once you know what works, it’s time to figure out how to recreate it. Start by creating content on your personal account. Play around with filters, get to know the tools and familiarize yourself with the editor.
Use your account and start creating content. Experiment with hashtags and see what gets attention. But let yourself have fun learning how to use the app. Remember, model after what works. Just don’t blatantly steal or copy anyone’s content. Instead, get creative and add your spin on it!
Plan your content
Just like most social media platforms, the secret to TikTok marketing is consistency. And it’s even more true of using this platform. Decide how often you can realistically create content. Then figure out when, how often and what you’ll post.
Remember, this platform is intended to be entertaining. It shouldn’t be all business. This is the perfect opportunity to let your audience see different sides of your company.
Here are a couple of features to keep in mind:
- “For you” page – On the “for you” page, you’ll see what’s trending and the content of top creators. As you explore the app, you’ll start to follow people and like videos. Then the AI will make this page more custom-tailored to you.
- Following page – As implied by the name, this page shows only the people you’re following. You’ll find their most popular and newest content here.
Related: 15 Tips to Grow a Social-Media Audience for Your Startup
Get your business on TikTok
By now, you have a pretty good idea of how to use the platform. So, it’s time to start your business account and create your first video. There are a few things to keep in mind when creating your first post.
TikTok has an entire library of sound and effects at your disposal. Some of those sounds are trending. Use them in your posts. Even if you turn the volume down low so you can talk over it, the algorithm will notice and will be more likely to feature your video.
Be real and show what you do
People don’t know what you do daily and they’ve most likely never thought about what goes on behind the scenes. Giving them this sort of an inside view makes you more approachable and authentic.
Make TikToks, not hard ads
TikTok is about fun and entertainment. That’s why so many people spend hours on the platform. And there is nothing fun about feeling like you’re being pitched. It’s ok to have a goal for each video. But have a plan to reach that goal in a way that feels natural.
Using TikTok for your business
TikTok may seem like it’s just for younger audiences, but there are many businesses getting leads and sales from it. Like any other social media platform, it’s a tool — you just have to use it right.
Related: 4 Ways to Create Content Your Digital Audience Can’t Help But Consume